Shipping furniture is a part of life for some people. Whether you’re moving house, putting furniture into storage, or even sending it as part of a business, finding the right shipping company makes all the difference. After all, you want your furniture to arrive intact, safe, and in a timely manner.

1. Get estimates

The costs of shipping furniture can add up fast, especially when you take insurance into account (but more on that later). Rather than jumping at the first moving companies you find, take your time and compare using a site like https://www.shiply.com/us/moving-companies. Estimates will, of course, give you an idea of the price, but also pay attention to how the furniture will be shipped, the route it will take, the delivery timetable, and any safety precautions. Comparing multiple delivery firms will save you a lot of money, but it also gives you a look at the shipping market. If you’re shipping overseas, delivery by sea is often much cheaper than airfreight, and it’s better for the environment, too.

2. Check insurance

Most delivery companies will offer some kind of insurance, covering you against damage during transit. That said, it’s still important to check the policy carefully, especially if you’re shipping high-value furniture. If you aren’t satisfied with the cover offered, don’t be afraid to go elsewhere or take out a separate policy. Moreover, check your furniture carefully when it arrives. You’ll need to sign a delivery note (effectively confirming that the shipping process is complete), but don’t put pen to paper until you’ve checked your furniture thoroughly for any damage. Signing the note and then reporting damage later can void the insurance, leading to costly repair jobs.

3. Choose the right packing

Some furniture shipping companies will offer to pack your items for you, but these are rare and few and far between. Instead, the onus falls on you to ensure that your furniture is properly protected. Different types of furniture require different types of packaging. Bubble wrap is fairly standard and remains an excellent way to protect against bumps and scrapes. Wooden pallets are essential for bigger items while wrapping a piece of furniture in a full, plastic cover ensures that it’s shielded from dust and excess moisture. Label your items so that they’re easier to unpack at the other end, and be sure to flag up anything that might be classed as “fragile.”

4. Is it worth shipping?

It might sound counterintuitive, but not all pieces of furniture actually justify their shipping costs. Expensive, one-of-a-kind items, for example, are worth the transport costs and can’t easily be replaced. Shipping low-value furniture is false economy, though. Depending on the shipping destination it’s often cheaper simply to replace furniture with new at the other end, especially if you’re moving house. It doesn’t make sense to spend more on shipping than a piece of furniture is worth, so it’s always important to value your items before you send them. In some cases, you’ll be able to get a bulk discount that can make transporting lower value items more cost effective.

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